What Could Have Been

DEVASTATING NEWS: Charles Barkley was reportedly offered the Monday Night Football job . . . and turned it down


Cliff Hawkins

Since joining TNT in 2000, Charles Barkley has become perhaps the single most recognizable sports analyst in America. Bigger than Stephen A. More established than Romo. Funnier than Nantz. Less annoying than Skip (albeit only marginally). Chuck, as he has become known to just about anyone with a television set, has crafted an entire persona out of not caring to care, and American sports fans have lapped it up for 21 consecutive years.

In fact, Chuck has become so popular, ubiquitous, and, of course, controversial, that he has reportedly begun drawing interest not just from other networks, but other sports as well. So when ESPN was looking to shake Monday Night Football for the zillionth time recently, who did they turn to? This man.

Well, at least according to Chuck, who dropped this juicy little McNugget on a recent episode of The Jim Brockmire Podcast. Unfortunately for us, Barkley turned down the offer, saying, “I like football, but I ain’t gonna be one of these jackasses get on TV and act like he knows about football.” How that would differ from his current role with Inside the NBA is not immediately clear.

On the surface, this is a bit of a bummer. The prospect of Chuck calling Jets-Texans on a meaningless Monday night in December is tantalizingly craptacular. That said, if past MNF experiments like Dennis Miller and the Boogermobile are any indication, perhaps it was wise of Chuck to stay in his lane. The MNF hellscape has claimed many souls over the years—from Sergio Dipp to Jason Witten—and we love Chuck too much to see him go out like that.